ERIC Number: EJ798947
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Oct
Reference Count: 0
The Rush to Take More AP Courses Hurts Students, High Schools, and Colleges
Oxtoby, David W.
Education Digest: Essential Readings Condensed for Quick Review, v73 n2 p43-46 Oct 2007
In most schools, the rush toward Advanced Placement (AP) courses goes on unabated. In 2006 the number of students taking AP exams increased almost 10 percent over the preceding year. This is largely because of the growing intensity of the admissions game and the urge on the part of college applicants to seek out every advantage. In applying to colleges and universities with highly competitive applicant pools, students can use AP scores as an easy way to signal their challenging curriculum. For applicants from schools that grant a grade premium for an AP course, the scores also allow students to boost their grade-point averages. Once students arrive on a campus, AP grades can be an entry ticket to more-advanced courses. It is important, however, not to confuse those competitive advantages in the admissions and enrollment process with advantages in actual academic performance--or with advantages in completing a college degree. In this article, the author discusses why the rush to take more AP courses hurts students, high schools, and colleges. He concludes that making high schools more like colleges will not necessarily help them provide a superior education. Nor will it necessarily provide their graduates with a better preparation for success when they encounter true college-level work.
Descriptors: Advanced Placement Programs, Educational Trends, Secondary School Curriculum, College Preparation, Equivalency Tests, Higher Education
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools; Higher Education; Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A